Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wow! Live Cams is now #1 in the United States!

This is really incredible! I'm absolutely ecstatic that people have shown their appreciation for my app. There are upsides (I'm selling my software) and downsides (the number of users hammering the application on a daily basis is now seriously degrading the performance of the cameras).

I'm getting mostly positive reviews but obviously its a matter of taste. Here are answers to many of the common questions:

Question 1: Can you please add cameras from the Walmart at ..........

Answer 1: No, sorry. There's no magic involved in this app, I can't get access to private security systems. Cameras must be made public by the owners and hosted on the internet. Most of the cameras in the app have been found by performing google searches and pulling settings from webpages that host the devices.

Question 2: The application is slow, why would you make it so useless? Fix it please.

Answer 2: The application isn't slow at all. It's the public cameras that are under the burden of so many users. The video is streaming directly from the camera to your phone/iPod and those poor cameras are not designed to handle the kind of load that we are now placing on them. If you have a privately owned camera that can be viewed with Live Cams you'll see that the video is as fast as the connection allows.

Question 3: Why did you remove camera "x"?

Answer 3: Cameras appear as a grey box until they load. If the camera is powered down, offline for maintenance, password protected or otherwise slow to connect you will continue to see the grey box. I will only remove cameras from the database when the owners place passwords on them (thus effectively disabling them forever). On rare occasions an owner will contact me and ask to have a camera removed for various reasons.

Question 4: How do I find a camera for my home town?

Answer 4: You'll have to scour the internet to find images from webcams that can then be entered into the application. Most webpages host JPEG images that have been copied to the server from the camera. These are not direct links to the camera and will probably not be streaming video. Use the JPG camera type to enter the full URL to the image and Live Cams will pull images on a configurable interval. If you luck out and find an actual streaming camera (not Adobe Flash or MPEG video) and can identify the brand, they can be entered using one of the pre-built profiles.
Adding cameras is very tricky and never straightforward for the average user, which is why we have included close to 4000 cameras already. The camera data has been collected from internet searches over the past year.